When French all-premium carrier La Compagnie launched in February 2014 it promised inflight wifi connectivity for passengers on its flights between New York City and Paris. Some five years later the carrier is poised to deliver on that promise. The Viasat Ka-band kit will fly on its new A321neo aircraft in 2019.
Eutelsat and Arianespace signed a five launch deal this week, including use of the Ariane 6 rocket now in development. That’s a big rocket and a big deal for the two.
Viasat continues its legal battle against Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network. The company indicated it would challenge the ruling issued by Belgian authorities earlier this month approving EAN’s ground components complimentary service on the S-Band network.
Inmarsat's European Aviation Network (EAN) received approval this week from Belgian telecom authorities for its ground component service. Again. That's good news for the inflight connectivity provider as it works to secure the necessary regulatory approvals across Europe in advance of service launch, still expected later this year. It is a setback for Viasat, Eutelsat, and Panasonic Avionics as they fight the EAN deployment through legal and regulatory battles.
The UON inflight connectivity service from Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Space will offer service from Europe to Asia thanks to a new deal with Eutelsat to add Ku-band capacity. The deal brings Ku-band widebeam coverage spanning Europe, the Middle East and South Asia plus an additional HTS transponder with coverage flexibility. The company is scaling up strong, but will it be enough to succeed in a crowded market?
Finnair joins the rapidly growing collection of European airlines offering inflight internet connectivity on its regional flights. Thanks to Viasat and Eutelsat passengers can now connect on some flights with more aircraft coming online over the coming year.
Partners are important. But Viasat is not deterred by its lack of partners when it comes to developing the global ViaSat-3 constellation of Ka-band satellite connectivity. Indeed, the wait while searching for a partner on one of the satellites may prove beneficial when it finally launches.
Looking for some quality misinformation about the current state of the inflight connectivity market? A recent marketing video from Inmarsat is a great place to start, assuming you don’t mind a whole lot of misleading details and partial truths.
It worked, exactly as advertised. That was the main takeaway from last week’s media demo flight of the new SAS high-speed inflight internet service on the carrier’s single-aisle fleet. The part where it is free for many passengers is great news, too.
Commercial success in the inflight connectivity business is anything but easy. That isn't stopping newcomers from trying. Saudi Arabia's Taqnia Space group launched the UON offering earlier this month and it has potential. But like other offerings in the market there are questions about how well it can scale up to meet demand (both bandwidth and profits).